I perform well under pressure, always have done. When I have to work to a deadline or have a lot of things to do I get more done than when I can take my time and finish when it feels right. I prefer not to work like that now because I find that focusing on my tasks and taking my time with them is more enjoyable and makes me calmer, but when there's a lot of complex work to be done, if I'm under pressure, I will get more done. All through the year we've been working to deadlines for events and outings, and there has been work, lots of work, every week. The last of the big things happened yesterday. Kerry, my younger son, stayed here over the weekend and will travel to New York today. He stays there for a few days and then goes to Toronto where he'll work for a few months. Later in the year, he'll take a road trip with some friends to Las Vegas and then go to Brazil. It was good for me having him here. He relaxed, talked, organised and packed and I realised how matured and prepared he is for this trip. When he drove out the driveway with Hanno yesterday afternoon on his way to his brother's, I felt as if the last of the big events was over. I breathed a sigh of relief.
But, there is always something lurking in the wings. On Friday, the book proposal came back from my agent. Now it's full steam ahead to finish the proposal, and then complete the book. It's becoming a bit of a saga but now I feel I have a clear space, both in reality and in my head, so I can give it all the time it needs. I want to make it the best it can be, I want it to help those who buy it and I want to be proud of what I put into it.
I finished my first Burke's Backyard article on the weekend and sent that off. I feel really good about writing for that magazine and I hope to add something to their mix. That article will be in their Spring/September edition.
I wrote about this last year and think it would be a good idea if we all thought about our Christmas lists now so we can get ourselves organised and start making our gifts. I will be doing some knitting and sewing and there may be a couple of plants in nice pots. I'll work out a list during the next week so I know exactly what I have to do and will, hopefully, be on target and not rushing at the last minute. This can be such an enjoyable task but it can be spoiled by having to rush, or worst still, not getting the gifts made and having to buy at the last minute. I love receiving home made gifts. I love giving them even more. I know that thought, time and loving effort have gone into those gifts and feel a close bond to those I give and receive home made gifts from. I may be wrong but I think home made gifts will be big this year.
So although this will be a busy week for me, it will be busy in a different way. I am looking forward to the next few months. I am usually fulfilled by my work and I hope the time and mental energy I put into my writing over the coming months results in something special.
I have had a few emails recently asking me to write about various things and I wondered if might be a good idea to throw that open to you to compile a list of what you'd like me to write about. We'll set aside a week for readers requests when I'll write about the top five subjects. So if you have any ideas, let me know and if it's a popular idea, it might be in the top five.
I hope you have a wonderful week full of rewarding work and quiet time when you can relax and enjoy your family and home.